Living a simpler life requires time and commitment, but the freedom that it yields can be worth the effort. Not having to constantly organize or shuffle things around, or saving money because you’re no longer spending it on frivolous things, are just some of the benefits that can be gained by simplifying our lives. Sadly, we live in a society that spends a ridiculous amount of time acquiring and managing excess. And often, we get rid of it, just to turn around and acquire new stuff.
Over the years, I’ve learned that some areas of our lives should be given immediate attention in order to help us regain focus. By cutting back and streamlining these areas, we gain more than just time. We gain back our peace of mind and the ability to funnel our energy towards the things that we value most.
Simplify Your Life To Reduce Stress
Get rid of excess
I truly believe that de-cluttering your home can instantly lift a big burden off of your shoulders. The concept is truly simple. The less you own, the less you have to clean and organize. Think about how you spend your time each day. If most of it revolves around your possessions, it’s time to purge. If you’re not sure where to begin, start small. Set a goal for yourself to get rid of at least 3-5 items each day. Before you know it, you’ll be picking up momentum and purging like it’s nobody’s business. I’ve made it a point to purge regularly in our home which has allowed me to spend less time “organizing” and instead I can focus on my loved ones.
Simplify your finances
This is going to look different for everyone depending on individual circumstances, but either way, the concept is still the same. If you haven’t already done this, you need to streamline your finances and establish a system that works for you. Set up automatic billing, so you’re not stressing about late fees or mailing out payments. Create a budget and track where your money is going each month so you can funnel what’s left towards your debt. Work on saving money for your short and long-term goals. If you have a small budget to work with, read about our experience with Living On One Income for tips and inspiration.
Simplify your homemaking
This is a big one for us women. We tend to take our homemaking role seriously and feel the need to measure our worth on how well we keep our homes. Stop creating impossible cleaning schedules and to-do lists that are doing nothing for your well-being. I’m a work-at-home mom, and at one point, I was also homeschooling my kids. There’s no way that I can dedicate several hours each day to cleaning, cooking, and general household tasks. I mean technically I can do, but something or someone is going to get the shortchanged. Homemaking was an idol for me. It’s what I was taught growing up, and what I believed validated me as a wife and a mom. I shared more on this topic at Club 31 Women: Choosing Simplicity In Your Homemaking.
Spend less time online
You need to get off the internet. Period. I know it’s easier said than done, but social media has a way to suck us into a black hole that’s almost impossible to crawl back out of. This is an area that I’ve always struggled with since I work in social media and my job requires me to spend time online. However, instead of spending hours reading pointless articles and catching up on what everyone else is doing, I set specific times when I can log on for fun. This helps me be more productive throughout the day and limits the time I can waste online. Although it’s a bit too extreme for me, I enjoyed this article by The Minimalists on Killing The Internet At Home.
Learn to say no (and mean it!)
This is the one that I struggle with the most. I know it can be hard to say no to friends and family, but you simply can’t afford to let this one go. Our time is simply too valuable to be wasting it on commitments that add no value to our lives, and instead, cause us to feel burned out. You’re not less of a mom because you didn’t volunteer at your children’s school, and you’re not less of a friend because you couldn’t pick up your friend’s children from soccer practice. I’m not saying you can’t ever help others out, but be careful about what you are willing to say yes to. In other words, make sure that your YES is reserved for the things that you truly value.
What are some ways that you have simplified your life? I would love to hear your tips!